What Kind Of Fish Can Live In An Outdoor Pond

By Harry RamosLast update: 2024-05-09

“What kind of fish can live in an outdoor pond?”

If that is also what you are wondering, this rounded-up list is perfect for you. Here, we list out the top 5 best fishes who are not only easy to live in natural environments (where there’s no heater or filter) but also look beautiful with a nice accent in your pond. Some even help eat algae or mosquitoes.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!


What Kind Of Fish Can Live In An Outdoor Pond

Koi are ornamental varieties of the common carp and are very popular because of their vivid colors.

The maximum size it can reach is 36 inches while the lifespan is around 30 to 50 years.

Although they’re originally from the Orient, Koi can be kept successfully in heavily planted outdoor ponds in many parts of the world, including Europe and North America. Keeping Koi in a natural pond is not that stressful in mind as long as you understand their behavior.

First thing first, Koi are omnivores, meaning that they eat both animals (like bugs and grubs) and plants (like kale, frozen peas, and leaf lettuce).

As you might know it or not, Koi are a peaceful fish that can live happily with amphibians, game fish, and other carp.

Price range: $50 to $1000+.

Goldfish Species

What Kind Of Fish Can Live In An Outdoor Pond

While goldfish species are known more as an indoor fish, they appear to be a great choice for outdoor ponds for some good reasons.

Just like Koi, these are species of carp but in a smaller size because they’re descended from the Prussian carp. From that point, goldfish is a great choice for smaller ponds while you don’t have to compromise on pattern or color.

Goldfish species, up to now, have been bred in a wide range of shapes and sizes, comprising the intricately patterned shubunkins, the long-tailed comet, and the common goldfish. All can reach a max length of 12 inches in a well-filtered pond.

Compared to Koi, it is a more popular choice, especially for those ponds with ornamental plants and lilies as it doesn’t dig out roots of these aquatic plants.

They, besides, are long-lived, adaptable, and hardy, which is a wonderful option for beginners.

Mosquito Fish

What Kind Of Fish Can Live In An Outdoor Pond

Also known as Gambusia affinis.

The biggest advantage of having this fish in your outdoor pond is they eat mosquito larvae, which keeps you away from fever and dengue.

In fact, it is exactly what the Vector Control Program has been using as a natural method to control the mosquito population for all San Diegans. The best thing about mosquito fish is they require no care if grown in a planted, natural pond.

What you should pay attention to are the pH levels and temperature ranges. Remember to remain the water temp around 80 degrees F while the pH level is within 6.5 to 8.0 plus keep yard chemicals, garden insect sprays, and chlorine out of their water.

Mosquito fishes are quite friendly and peaceful so that they can live with most other fish species as long as they’re no bigger than these.

Golden Orfe

What Kind Of Fish Can Live In An Outdoor Pond

Known as Ides, specifically Leuciscus Idus.

This freshwater fish belongs to the family Cyprinidae. When it is young, its head typically has narrow black spots with a silver scale pattern but once growing up, most varieties change their color to a brightly golden to a subtle hue.

Take note that golden orfe is a social fish, meaning that it likes to live in groups of at least 3 orfes or other fish – such as koi and goldfish.

If living in an ideal habitat, it can reach a max length of 2 feet, meaning that your outdoor pond must be at least 1,000 gallons or larger for them to jump out of water or simply move around. Besides, they’re known as adept at catching and eating insects or smaller fishes.

You might have to supplement their diet with things like flakes with lots of protein, meat-based pellets, bloodworms, and earthworms.

The best water condition for this fish is 50 to 77 degrees F of temperature ranges and 7 to 8 of pH levels.

A notable thing is it can survive in as high as 90 degrees F or just above freezing water.


What Kind Of Fish Can Live In An Outdoor Pond

Adding Plecostomus to your outdoor pond is a great way to keep algae from getting too bad. Although this fish is commonly found in aquariums, it can be beneficial in Koi ponds during the summer.

Yes, this tropical fish can’t survive in too cold water conditions. 50 degrees F is the lowest temp they can do well in, so, when the cold months come, remember to bring them indoors.

Aside from eating algae, it enjoys eating fish feces and carcasses as well as other debris. In a good condition, it can grow up to 2 feet long with a max lifespan of 30 years. Meaning you should ensure your pond is large enough for them.

One solid thing to keep in mind if you plan to add them to your pond is Plecostomus might attack the same species. In some cases, it is reported as eating the slime coat off other fishes or even killing them.


Above are the 5 best kinds of fish that can live in an outdoor pond. To determine which one is right for yours, it is important to consider your budget, pond size, and if the fish’s living habitat matches with your pond condition.

That’s all for this article!

Thanks for reading!

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